Educational Consumer Tips

Credit Repair/ Credit Counseling

Author: Better Business Bureau

Credit Repair companies offer to help improve, or fix your credit history for a fee. They may claim that they can clean up or erase bad credit history, and help you get new credit. Before you pay for this type of service, you may wish to consider the following tips. You can do the same things that a credit repair company can do for FREE. You do not have to pay anyone to learn what your credit report says, or to correct information which is incomplete or inaccurate.

If you have been denied credit within the past 30 days, you are entitled by law to receive a free copy of your credit report. You may also request a report at any time for a minimal fee from any credit reporting agency. You should be aware that information stays on your credit report for seven to ten years and generally cannot be removed unless it is incorrect or outdated.

There are non-profit groups in every community offering low cost or free counseling services to consumers to assist you in arranging a repayment plan that you and your creditors can live with, and they can help you set up a budget.

If you are getting into trouble with your bill payments, don't ignore it and hope that it will go away. Contact your creditors immediately to try to work out a payment schedule. Most creditors would rather try to work it out with you than turn the account over to a collection agency.

Consumers may wish to know that according to California Civil
Code No. 1789.13 it is illegal for any company to create, or assist or advise a consumer to create a new credit record by using a new name, address, social security number or employee identification number. If you do so you may be in violation of the law.

If you feel that you have been taken advantage of by a credit
repair company, file a complaint with your local Better Business
Bureau and send a copy to the state Attorney Generals office.